Posts Tagged ‘Inflammation’

Prescription 2014: Exercise Your Liver

November 10, 2014 Written by JP

By now, the health benefits of exercise have been fairly well established in the scientific literature. In fact, there’s very little controversy or debate regarding the general value of physical activity on everything from cardiovascular to mental health. Even so, research into the therapeutic effects of exercise is ongoing and continues to reveal intriguing, new applications. One of the more exciting findings of late is the role which aerobic exercise plays in the promotion of liver health.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Detoxification, Exercise | 2 Comments

Still Nuts About Nuts?

June 30, 2014 Written by JP

A reader asks: You’ve written a lot of blogs about nuts and how healthy you believe they are. I’m not convinced though, because you also frequently mention the importance of keeping an eye on one’s omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. My understanding is that most nuts are top heavy in omega-6 fatty acids and mostly devoid of omega-3s. These two recommendations seem to be at odds. Am I missing something? Bottom line, what’s your current stance on eating nuts and how it relates to the whole omega 6/3 ratio issue?

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Posted in Food and Drink, Heart Health, Nutrition | No Comments;

Is Black Rice Healthier?

February 3, 2014 Written by JP

Most of us are familiar with brown, white and “wild” rice. But, how about black-purple rice? Have you tried it yet? Are you interested in it because of the positive media coverage from the likes of Dr. Oz? By the end of today’s column, you’ll likely know more about it and you can decide for yourself if it’s something you ought to add to your diet.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 4 Comments

Tendonitis Remedies

November 4, 2013 Written by JP

A reader asks: “I’ve had recurrent bouts of tendonitis in my elbow and shoulder. When I go to see my doctor about it, he usually recommends Advil or Aleve to manage the pain and swelling. But, I don’t like to take these types of drugs. Are there are any natural remedies that I can use to reduce tendon pain and speed the recovery process?”.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Bone and Joint Health, Nutritional Supplements | 4 Comments

Alpha Lipoic Acid Question

January 4, 2013 Written by JP

Today’s column is a response to the first health related question that was posed to me in 2013. During a recent consultation, a client inquired about the relative merits of an antioxidant compound commonly known as alpha lipoic acid. She noted that it’s frequently cited as one of the more potent antioxidants because it supposedly works in concert with other free radical scavengers such as glutathione and vitamins C and E. A recent review in Frontiers in Ethnopharmacology, a prestigious medical journal, supports this claim and details various others functions of a-lipoic acid including its ability to: a) chelate heavy metals; b) lower systemic inflammation; c) regulate gene expression; d) repair damaged proteins in the body.

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Posted in Diabetes, Heart Health, Nutritional Supplements | 10 Comments

Healthy Gazpacho

December 24, 2012 Written by JP

The start of winter may not seem like the ideal time to recommend eating cold soup. But, in the case of gazpacho, a traditional Spanish soup, I simply can’t wait for the warmer days of spring or summer to sing its praises. My urgency is, in part, due to a recently published study appearing in Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases, the prestigious medical journal. A secondary reason is that current and prior research on gazpacho helps to prove a theory that I’ve long held: Drinking raw, blended vegetables is a wonderfully healthful practice, especially if you add some good fat to the mix.

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Posted in Food and Drink, Heart Health, Nutrition | No Comments;

European Bilberries

September 5, 2012 Written by JP

Last week I had the good fortune of visiting Venice, Italy for the very first time. Along the way, I snapped countless photographs to share with family and friends. And, as I consider you all a part of my circle of family and friends, I’d like to take this opportunity to share several highlights from time away from home: The Doge’s Palace; The Pigeons of Piazza San Marco; Fresh Melon and Prosciutto; The Venice Film Festival; Stormy Venice Flag. While in Venice, one of the details I noticed each morning at breakfast was an assortment of jams and pastries featuring bilberries. For those who don’t already know, European bilberries (Vaccinium myrtillus) are closely related to huckleberries and wild blueberries indigenous to North America.

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Posted in Food and Drink, Nutrition, Nutritional Supplements | 5 Comments

Trigger Point Therapy Part Two

March 9, 2012 Written by JP

Those living with chronic pain frequently turn to over-the-counter NSAIDs or nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs for acute or long term symptom management. As expected, this approach generally makes day to day living more tolerable. However, there can be steep consequences to pay for the temporary relief these medications provide. Adverse reactions ranging from compromised bone healing to damage to the gastrointestinal tract have been attributed to regular NSAID use. In fact, the concern about the side effect profiles of NSAIDs is so profound that drug companies themselves are scrambling to find ways to minimize the downsides of this popular class of drugs. Some pharmaceutical manufacturers are even going so far as to combine NSAIDs with natural agents (dietary fiber, lactoferrin and probiotics) that may allow for these synthetic antiinflammatory agents to work in a safer manner.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Interviews | No Comments;

Trigger Point Therapy Part One

March 7, 2012 Written by JP

The November-December edition of the journal Pain Research and Management describes a sad state of affairs that many patients and physicians are frustratingly aware of: “Despite many recent advances in the past 40 years in the understanding of pain mechanisms, and in pain diagnosis and management, considerable gaps in knowledge remain, with chronic pain present in epidemic proportions in most countries.” An underutilized resource known as trigger point therapy may very well help fill some of these noted gaps. And, there’s nobody better to address this potential avenue of healing and recovery than Valerie DeLaune, LAc.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Interviews | 6 Comments

International Herbal Medicine

February 24, 2012 Written by JP

In preparation for my upcoming trip to Mexico, I’ve been reviewing both modern and traditional applications of medicinal plants that are indigenous to the region. During the course of my research, an interesting and unexpected pattern emerged. Some of the most popular home remedies used in Mexico are finding new homes throughout the world. By that, I mean that scientists spanning Australia to England and even India are taking note of herbal medicines such as aloe vera, nettle (Urtica dioica) and passionflower (Passiflora incarnata).

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Mental Health, Nutritional Supplements | 4 Comments

Nopal Cactus for Diabetes

February 22, 2012 Written by JP

Next week I’ll be taking my work on the road. More specifically, I’ll head down south to Mexico for a fact finding mission and informational exchange. One of the planned areas of discussion will focus on an edible cactus commonly known as nopal or nopales, as diabetes and prediabetic conditions (i.e. metabolic syndrome) are quickly reaching an epidemic level in Mexico. Nopales, when eaten as a part of one’s daily diet, may offer a valuable tool in turning the diabetes tide in Mexico and beyond.

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Posted in Diabetes, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 6 Comments

Fermented Papaya Preparation

February 20, 2012 Written by JP

It’s unusual for a dietary supplement to have more than twenty studies to support its use, while at the same time being relatively unknown in most parts of the world. However, this is precisely the case for an obscure Japanese product known as fermented papaya preparation or FPP. In essence, this nutraceutical is an extract of the common papaya fruit that is fermented using edible yeast strains. The resulting product is a mildly sweet powder that is typically promoted as a nutritional aid for supporting healthy aging and immune function.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Diabetes, Nutritional Supplements | 2 Comments

Cherry Good Night

February 17, 2012 Written by JP

One of my current passions is to seek out the best-of-the-best fruits and encourage my clients, family and friends to eat more of them. By “best-of-the-best”, I mean fruits that offer a major upside and little, if any, downside. This is sometimes embodied in fruits that are high in fiber and/or nutrient dense. Other times, the fruits in question are superlative reservoirs of health promoting, but non-nutritive phytochemicals. And, of course, these fruits should also be appropriate for anyone mindful of their blood sugar and weight. After all, in my opinion, the majority of us would do well to eat as though we were at risk for diabetes and overweight.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 2 Comments

Vitamin D Heart Controversy

January 13, 2012 Written by JP

A recent publication in the American Journal of Cardiology called into question the safety of high dose Vitamin D supplementation. In the paper, researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine investigated a proposed link between Vitamin D levels and an inflammatory protein (CRP) which is considered a risk factor for heart disease. Their conclusions report that levels of D below 21 ng/ml are associated with higher CRP or C-reactive protein. This determination came as no surprise. However, participants with Vitamin D concentrations significantly above 21 ng/ml also demonstrated elevated or undesirable CRP readings. The lead author of the piece, Dr. Muhammad Amer, stated that “Clearly vitamin D is important for your heart health, especially if you have low blood levels of vitamin D. It reduces cardiovascular inflammation and atherosclerosis, and may reduce mortality, but it appears that at some point it can be too much of a good thing.”

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Posted in Bone and Joint Health, Heart Health, Nutritional Supplements | 4 Comments

Astaxanthin Update

December 21, 2011 Written by JP

Whether you know it or not, you’ve probably consumed astaxanthin at one point or another in your life. Arctic shrimp and wild salmon are among the most common dietary sources of this crimson colored carotenoid. But, these days you’re also likely to find astaxanthin in everything from multivitamins to sports drinks. In many instances, it’s included as a way of increasing the antioxidant content of functional foods and nutritional supplements. Other times, its primary purpose is to act as natural preservative for delicate fatty acids such as those contained in fish or krill oil.

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Posted in General Health, Heart Health, Nutritional Supplements | 5 Comments

Healthy Trail Mix Recipe

October 3, 2011 Written by JP

These days, many people are looking for practical ways to eat healthier while saving money at the same time. Preparing snacks at home works towards both objectives. Whether you’re traveling or at work, trail mix is an easy to prepare and nutritious treat to keep on hand. My homemade trail mix recipe calls for only five ingredients – Brazil nuts (1 oz), walnuts (1 oz), dried cranberries (1 Tbs), dark chocolate chips (15 grams or 16 chips) and coconut flakes (1 Tbs). Not only does this make for a delicious and satisfying mix of savory and sweet elements, but it may also improve your well being in the following ways: a) Brazil nuts can lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, triglycerides and support healthier circulation; b) walnuts have recently been shown to improve a particular form of cognitive functioning known as “inferential verbal reasoning”; c) cranberries blunt blood sugar and insulin response when eaten with other carbohydrates, including sugar; d) dark chocolate is capable of lowering systemic inflammation which has been linked to a wide array of conditions ranging from cardiovascular disease to chronic fatigue syndrome; e) according to a recent scientific review, coconut possesses “antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antiparasitic, antidermatophytic, antioxidant, hypoglycemic, hepatoprotective and immunostimulant” properties.

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Posted in Food and Drink, Nutrition, Recipes | 2 Comments